Anne-Marie Losique, the Canadian TV personality Ben Affleck is seen behaving inappropriately with in a newly-resurfaced video, is speaking out.
Not with the kind of response you might expect, either.
The 2004 interview with the acclaimed actor appeared on Box-Office, a Canadian TV and magazine series, and resurfaced on Wednesday.
A day earlier, Affleck condemned Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood mogul accused of egregious sexual assault and sexual harassment.
Despite the fact that Ben makes overtly sexual comments, pulls her onto his lap and seemingly tries to fondle her, Losique says it’s not like that.
Losique, also a singer and owner of Vanessa Media, told The Hollywood Reporter that this was an act and taken entirely out of context.
“This was for the camera,” she said. “You have to understand that we have done dozens and dozens of interviews like that.”
“It was for a show I was producing, so I was not at all a victim. When the cameras rolled, we would start to do that game.”
She went on to add:
“As soon as it stopped rolling, there was none of that. He never touched me in any improper way. He was very respectful, I must say.”
While squeezing Losique, he says viewers would like the show more if she did it topless and asks why she is not showing more cleavage.
All an act, she says, and said in a fun manner, “But in this case, it is more of a delicate issue because of everything that is happening.”
“I can’t say I am thrilled to have that interview mixed in with the other stories because I don’t think that is at all the same thing.”
Losique says there were 20 people in the room and everyone knew it was ridiculous. Of the scrutiny of Affleck, she says, “I find it sad.”
“I know that people like fishing for anything, but this is completely out of context. I would like this to not have any negative impact on him.”
“It has been blown out of proportion.”
On Wednesday, Hilarie Burton claimed Affleck groped her breast during a visit to MTV’s TRL in 2003 (that video has also now surfaced).
A New York-based writer named Shanice Brim actually mentioned this week that “[Affleck] grabbed Hilarie Burton’s breasts on TRL once.”
That gained media traction when Burton responded simply, “I didn’t forget,” which promoted a brief but memorable exchange with Brim.
“I’m so sorry that happened to you,” Brim wrote back. “It’s infuriating that people never bring up all the gross, predatory things he’s done.”
“Seriously, thank you for that. I was a kid,” Burton said, later posting montage of clips from TRL which included the incident in question.
Burton laughed it off, but was clearly hurt inside, as she went on to offer support for women have come forward as victims this week.
“Girls. I’m so impressed with you brave ones,” Burton tweeted. “I had to laugh back then so I wouldn’t cry. Sending love.”
Affleck apologized for that behavior in the briefest of statements, saying he acted “inappropriately,” but has yet to speak on the Losique clip.
The catalyst for all of this, of course, is the downfall of Weinstein – and a statement Affleck put out condemning his conduct.
“I am saddened and angry that a man I worked with used his position of power to intimidate, sexually harass and manipulate” women, he said.
Ben’s statement inflamed accusations against him, however, notably when Rose McGowan called Affleck a liar and an enabler.
Even Losique, the relatively-unknown (in the U.S.) TV personality, said she had an uncomfortable moment with Weinstein years ago.
“Yes, I met him quite a few times,” she began.
“I knew he was a player. He did invite me once at the Toronto Film Festival to go up to his suite for an interview. Of course I did not go.”
“And it stopped there. He said, ‘I would be more comfortable in my suite.’ I said, ‘Umm, no.’ I am not saying something would have happened.”
“But I made sure nothing happened.”
She reiterates that what happened with Affleck in the now-infamous video above is not the same thing at all. Do you agree?